Gerald Kent Bankus


Preferred Name: Kent

Nickname/Call Sign:

Date of Birth: October 11, 1942 (February 16, 2106)

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel

Hometown: Milan, MO

Biography

Kent was born October 11, 1942 in Milan, MO. He graduated from Univ of Missouri School of Engineering in 1964. After that he entered the Air Force where his first assignment was Vance AFB, OK where he graduated #1 in his pilot training class. Upon completion he entered F-100 training at Luke AFB, AZ.

He was assigned to Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam where he was shot down while flying combat and was rescued by an Army helicopter. He was selected to attend test pilot school in 1969. Upon completion, he was assigned to Eglin AFB, FL. Throughout his career, he flew the F-4, A-7 and F-16 in multiple assignments. His last flying assignment was at Hill AFB, UT where he was the Director of Operations.

Kent was one of the 208 candidates for astronauts, the finalists of the 8th set of NASA 1977, and was summoned to the Johnson Space Center for a week-long medical examination and interview.

He then went on the Pentagon in 1986 where he was assigned as Special Assistant to Under Secretary of the Air Force for Research and Engineering. He retired in January 1987 with the rank of Colonel and then became a Staffer for Senator Sam Nunn in 1988. He became Corporate Vice President for General Dynamics for a very successful career in the defense industry.

His military decorations include the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal with two silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters, just to name a few.

Kent served on the Board of the YMCA, was a member of the Test Pilot Association, past member of Ft. Walton Sailfish Club, member of Rocky Bayou Country Club; he loved retirement, their beautiful home on the bayou in Niceville, fishing, boating, their farm in Missouri hosting hunting outings, and golf. Pop Pop was adored by his many grandchildren.

source: Legacy.com

Units Assigned

  • 1964 Pilot Training, Vance AFB, OK
  • 1965 F-100 Training, Luke AFB, AZ
  • 1966-1967 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 1967 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat AB, Vietnam
  • 1969 Test Pilot School,
  • 1970-1973 Test Ops, Eglin AFB, FL
  • 1973-1986 Director of Operations, Hill AFB, UT
  • 1986 Special assistant to the under secretary of the Air Force for research and engineering, Pentagon, Washington DC
  • 1/1987 Retired from USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Silver Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Legion of Merit
 Purple Heart
 Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Medal (with 2 Silver and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

F-100
F-4
A-7
F-16

Military Education

  • Undergraduate Pilot Training
  • F-100 Training
  • Test Pilot Training

Civilian Education

  • 1964 University of Missouri School of Engineering

Gerald Kent Bankus Headed West (October 11, 1942 – February 15, 2016)

Retired Col. Gerald Kent Bankus and Patricia Ann Bankus of Niceville, Fla., passed away together in a car crash on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.

Kent was born Oct. 11, 1942, in Milan, Mo. He graduated in 1964 from the University of Missouri School of Engineering. He entered the U.S. Air Force, and his first assignment was Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, where he graduated No. 1 in his pilot training class. Upon completion, he entered F-100 training at Luke AFB in Arizona. He was assigned to Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam, where he was shot down while flying combat and was rescued by an Army helicopter. He was selected to attend test pilot school in 1969. Upon completion, he was assigned to Eglin AFB in Florida. Throughout his career, he flew the F-4, A-7 and F-16 in multiple assignments. His last flying assignment was at Hill AFB in Utah, where he was the director of operations. He then went to the Pentagon in 1986, where he was assigned as special assistant to the under secretary of the Air Force for research and engineering. He retired in January 1987 with the rank of colonel and became a staffer for Sen. Sam Nunn in 1988. He became corporate vice president for General Dynamics with a very successful career in the defense industry.

His military decorations include the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with two silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters.

He served on the board of the YMCA, was a member of the Test Pilot Association, a past member of Fort Walton Sailfish Club and a member of Rocky Bayou Country Club. He loved retirement, their beautiful home on the bayou in Niceville, FL, fishing, boating, their farm in Missouri, hosting hunting outings and golf. Pop Pop was adored by his many grandchildren.

Patty was born June 14, 1960, in Carbondale, Pa., and grew up with her parents and six siblings in Falls Church, Va. Kent and Patty were married Dec. 26, 1989, on a ski slope in Breckenridge, Colo. Patty was a vivacious soul who loved her family and friends fiercely and dearly.

Kent and Patty are buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery east of Green City.

Biography

Biography

Kent was born October 11, 1942 in Milan, MO. He graduated from Univ of Missouri School of Engineering in 1964. After that he entered the Air Force where his first assignment was Vance AFB, OK where he graduated #1 in his pilot training class. Upon completion he entered F-100 training at Luke AFB, AZ.

He was assigned to Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam where he was shot down while flying combat and was rescued by an Army helicopter. He was selected to attend test pilot school in 1969. Upon completion, he was assigned to Eglin AFB, FL. Throughout his career, he flew the F-4, A-7 and F-16 in multiple assignments. His last flying assignment was at Hill AFB, UT where he was the Director of Operations.

Kent was one of the 208 candidates for astronauts, the finalists of the 8th set of NASA 1977, and was summoned to the Johnson Space Center for a week-long medical examination and interview.

He then went on the Pentagon in 1986 where he was assigned as Special Assistant to Under Secretary of the Air Force for Research and Engineering. He retired in January 1987 with the rank of Colonel and then became a Staffer for Senator Sam Nunn in 1988. He became Corporate Vice President for General Dynamics for a very successful career in the defense industry.

His military decorations include the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal with two silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters, just to name a few.

Kent served on the Board of the YMCA, was a member of the Test Pilot Association, past member of Ft. Walton Sailfish Club, member of Rocky Bayou Country Club; he loved retirement, their beautiful home on the bayou in Niceville, fishing, boating, their farm in Missouri hosting hunting outings, and golf. Pop Pop was adored by his many grandchildren.

source: Legacy.com

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1964 Pilot Training, Vance AFB, OK
  • 1965 F-100 Training, Luke AFB, AZ
  • 1966-1967 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 1967 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat AB, Vietnam
  • 1969 Test Pilot School,
  • 1970-1973 Test Ops, Eglin AFB, FL
  • 1973-1986 Director of Operations, Hill AFB, UT
  • 1986 Special assistant to the under secretary of the Air Force for research and engineering, Pentagon, Washington DC
  • 1/1987 Retired from USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Silver Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Legion of Merit
 Purple Heart
 Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Medal (with 2 Silver and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

F-100
F-4
A-7
F-16

Military Education

  • Undergraduate Pilot Training
  • F-100 Training
  • Test Pilot Training

Civilian Education

  • 1964 University of Missouri School of Engineering
Photos
Headed West

Gerald Kent Bankus Headed West (October 11, 1942 – February 15, 2016)

Retired Col. Gerald Kent Bankus and Patricia Ann Bankus of Niceville, Fla., passed away together in a car crash on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.

Kent was born Oct. 11, 1942, in Milan, Mo. He graduated in 1964 from the University of Missouri School of Engineering. He entered the U.S. Air Force, and his first assignment was Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, where he graduated No. 1 in his pilot training class. Upon completion, he entered F-100 training at Luke AFB in Arizona. He was assigned to Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam, where he was shot down while flying combat and was rescued by an Army helicopter. He was selected to attend test pilot school in 1969. Upon completion, he was assigned to Eglin AFB in Florida. Throughout his career, he flew the F-4, A-7 and F-16 in multiple assignments. His last flying assignment was at Hill AFB in Utah, where he was the director of operations. He then went to the Pentagon in 1986, where he was assigned as special assistant to the under secretary of the Air Force for research and engineering. He retired in January 1987 with the rank of colonel and became a staffer for Sen. Sam Nunn in 1988. He became corporate vice president for General Dynamics with a very successful career in the defense industry.

His military decorations include the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with two silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters.

He served on the board of the YMCA, was a member of the Test Pilot Association, a past member of Fort Walton Sailfish Club and a member of Rocky Bayou Country Club. He loved retirement, their beautiful home on the bayou in Niceville, FL, fishing, boating, their farm in Missouri, hosting hunting outings and golf. Pop Pop was adored by his many grandchildren.

Patty was born June 14, 1960, in Carbondale, Pa., and grew up with her parents and six siblings in Falls Church, Va. Kent and Patty were married Dec. 26, 1989, on a ski slope in Breckenridge, Colo. Patty was a vivacious soul who loved her family and friends fiercely and dearly.

Kent and Patty are buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery east of Green City.